Ms Senior America 2014

Miserable and Didn’t Even Realize It

I know this title sounds odd to you, but I can only address this from my own personal experiences.

The fact is:  I don’t realize just how physically miserable I have been UNTIL I begin to clean up my diet and excercise routinely.  Let me explain by telling you about my past 10 months.IMG_2803

I competed in the Ms Senior Florida Pageanct in March of 2014 (and won!) so I focused on losing that last 10 pounds and getting into better shape. I got to my goal and continued working on myself through the month of June.  I felt the best I had in a long time and I was focused, sharp, alert, energetic and active.

Then came the ‘move’. We sold our home and moved and I totally lost focus. Now, I have done this off and on over the years and through various seasons, so you would think that I would LEARN, but I haven’t seemed to (yet)!

With the move into our new garden home, and since we bought a foreclosure, there was a lot of work to be done. So, along with our real jobs, we worked hard on getting the house ready. I began to be lazy and ate a little more volume, skipped workouts and began to not be as careful. Now, mind you, it wasn’t intentional, but I allowed a change to happen – and I allowed myself to be in denial that I was getting back to old habits that made me 100 pounds overweight in the first place 10 years ago.

IMG_2890Then, we headed out on a two week, 2800 mile motorcycle trip to Niagara Falls and I threw all caution to the wind and, although I didn’t gorge, I did eat out 3 times a day and did not exercise once. (unless you count getting off and on the bike 30 times a day!).

So, knowing I was competing in the Ms Senior America in late October, I knew I had to get my act together. But, I kept putting it off. Back home, and back at work, I was just dragging myself through the day – not being very effective, disciplined or focused. Well, when I realized I had 3 weeks before the pageant I finally grabbed myself by the shoulders and said, “Self. You can’t do this to yourself. Get back on track!’

I started with cutting out Splenda. I had cut sodas from my diet 2 years ago, so this was a big next step for me. Then I began a 7 day fast. (I don’t recommend this for everyone, but it worked for me).

I won’t bore you with the details, but here are 10 things I have realized about myself when I’m disciplined with my diet and exercise program.

productive1.) My head is much clearer.
2.) I am a lot more focused and get twice the work done.
3.) I feel better about myself.
4.) I am more sharp.
5.) My attitude is better.
6.) I am more disciplined – not just in exercise, but in my daily walk with the Lord.
7.) I am more interested in others.
8.) I am more willing to take instruction.
9.) I am more determined.
10.) I am more visionary.

I realize there are a lot of I’s. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about me all the time. However, I had to fix this and it started with ‘me’.

So, after reading that list, I realized that all the things I listed were the mirror opposites of how I was feeling back in August/September. Interesting. I realized I was actually Miserable and Didn’t Even Realize It – or admit it!

Are you Miserable?
Hello-my-name-is-MiserableWould you even know it? Would you like to experience newness and throw the miserable person out the window – and discover the new, refreshed person? I could preach a sermon here on what I believe the Abundant Life is, and how God orchestrates that for us through our admission that we need Him – but I won’t go into that here. (You can read my other blogs that address that!)

My reason for this blog is to admit publicly that I struggle with this and to challenge myself to learn this once and for all!  And in doing this for myself, maybe you can embrace this in your own life.

As I headed off to Atlantic City to compete in the Ms Senior America, I was energized in that I knew I had control over this.  God has given me the tools, and the brain, to do what I need to do to take care of myself so I can be a more effective ‘missionary’ for Him.

I thank God I took back control before I gained much weight. (15 pounds is a killer though and I refuse to allow that to control my life – and it can!) I was almost back in my gowns. I was re-energized and ready to face America with a big smile on my face because, after so many failures, I may actually be learning something!

Take it from me. It is not part of the plan for an Abundant Life when we are physically miserable.

We Are Not Invisible!

Cleaning out things!

Cleaning out things!

Becoming a ‘senior citizen’ has been quite an interesting transition in my life. Turning 60 two years ago was really not a big deal for me; but watching how the general population reacts and responds to ‘seniors’ has been a big deal! I have noticed over the past 10 years that seniors slowly become ‘invisible’ and less valued in our society. I don’t think this is done on purpose. I think we seniors just ‘adjust’ to it and ‘allow it’. The grandma in her rocking chair looks quite a bit different these days!

Ms Senior FloridaBeing a contestant in Ms Senior Florida and, to my delight and surprise, being crowned Ms Senior Florida has given me a platform so to speak – to reach out to women to encourage them that ‘they aren’t dead yet, so don’t act like it! These incredible women I got to work with and got to know were the exception to the rule, and they were not allowing society to ignore them.

To become visible, these women began to interact with others, they were confident in their value and experience, their beauty and their expertise. What sets them apart from the seniors who retreat and allow themselves to become invisible? The biggest thing I saw, and realized, was they were willing to step way out of their box. They allow themselves to experience a new season in their life, recreating themselves and being willing to feel uncomfortable for a short time while they transitioned into a renewed, revitalized and refreshed ‘young’ woman!

20140329_212322I was so encouraged to watch this unfold (and I thought I was there to encourage them)! This very thing is what made them so beautiful, so graceful and so attractive! Singing when they never had in public, speaking to a huge audience, walking across a large stage flooded with lighting, wearing bling that they’ve never worn before, putting on false eyelashes, walking in high heels, and even wearing a bra for the first time (really!). It was an experience I will never forget because it showed me what senior women can do to change things! They were not allowing society to lose them from sight. They were stepping up to become visible again, and more importantly, to make a real difference!

As I head out to the 2014 Mrs Senior America contest, my heart and soul is flooded with all of these thoughts, and I am reminded of our opportunity to do this now on a national level! Forty two contestants will come together to put a stamp on America. And, guess what? We senior ladies are just beginning – and we are beginning together!

invisible womanWe refuse to become invisible! This does not mean we will be loud, obstinate, overly aggressive or in your face. What it does mean is we will step up, step out, and tell the world that we are still important. We are confident in our value and experience. We are beautiful because we are wonderfully made from The Creator, and He has a plan for our lives – and we are living it!!!!

Don’t think this stage is going to be full of old foggies. Oh no! These ladies are going to rock it, and I am priviliged to be a small part of that, representing Florida Senior Women!

News flash people: We are not invisible. We are women of elegance and we want to recruit more of you to realize your potential and join us as we change America and the world!

MS SENIOR AMERICA